The weather is warming up here in the Northeast and it's the perfect weather to get outside. Warm, but not too hot, park weather. Being at the park is the perfect time to get your workout in. This may not be for the super self-conscious, but its a great way to workout, spend some time outside, and let the kids run around. If you feel too awkward, maybe go to a less populated park or at a less active time. Either way, here's how to get your fitness and vitamin D all at the same time!
Did you know? Today is National Pancake Day! I learned this from IHOP which of course is the authority on pancakes. In honor of this day, I decided to share with you some healthy pancake recipes which you can share with your family today, or any other day.
We start off with a healthy alternative for the typical flour pancake.
1 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon course salt
1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
1/4 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
Fresh fruit or fruit preserves (optional) for serving
In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa, flour, baking powder, and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, butter, milk, and syrup until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and whisk to combine.
Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter and heat over medium-high. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top, 2 minutes.
Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, 2 minutes. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more melted butter and remaining batter (reduce heat to medium if overbrowning). Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit or preserves if desired.
Makes about 12.
Here's a delicious pancake that also allows you to get your fruits and veggies in! I love sweet potatoes!!
Banana Sweet Potato Pancakes With Honey Nut Yogurt
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup mashed baked sweet potato
1 egg 1 1/4 cups skim milk or soy milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana, diced
1 6-ounce container of plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 teaspoons honey
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Then add the sweet potato, egg, and milk, and mix until smooth. Add the cinnamon. Stir in the diced banana.
Place a skillet over medium heat, and spray lightly with cooking spray.
While the pan is heating up, make the yogurt sauce. Mix together the yogurt, milk, peanut butter, and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.
Drop large spoonfuls of batter onto the pan, making pancakes that are about three-and-a-half inches in diameter. Cook until bubbly, about two minutes. Flip and continue cooking until golden brown. Makes about 12 pancakes.
Place three pancakes on a plate, and pour one quarter of the yogurt sauce on top. Add some slices of banana or other fresh fruit, sprinkle on some chopped nuts, and enjoy!
Makes about 12.
This final recipe is for those who can't live without good old fashioned pancakes. Here the recipe is modified for a healthier version of the classic.
Healthier Good Old Fashioned Pancakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups nonfat milk
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in milk, egg whites, and melted butter; mix until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake, pour or scoop batter onto griddle. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
I hope you enjoy these recipes and Happy National Pancake Day!!
As a busy mom, sometimes its hard to take time out for yourself. We have so many other obligations and priorities that we sometimes put ourselves last. Other times, the way that we treat ourselves in not the best or healthiest. Our "me time" becomes have a sugary or salty treat in front of the TV after the kids are in bed. But, in order to be our best selves and the best possible mom, we have to put our own health as one of our top priorities.
Exercise can give you a high and give you energy to start your day. It can help you clear your brain and enable you to focus. It can give you the strength and endurance to get through a long day. It keeps you healthy and your heart pumping. It boosts your mood. If nothing else, it helps you shed unwanted lbs. So here are 7 tips to help you ensure that you get your workout in!
1. Have a goal of working out everyday - but don't be hard on yourself. On average, you want to work out around 5 days a week. Some people schedule their rest days. I'm not one of those people. I find that if you schedule your rest day and then something comes up another day that prevents you from working out, you beat yourself up for missing an extra day. I make my goal to work out daily and if something does come up or I'm not feeling well, I count that as my rest day. This enables you to have a lot less guilt.
2. Workout in the morning - I find that the best time to workout is before anyone else gets up. This means I'm up at 6:00 am, have a protein shake and start my workout. I generally don't have scheduling conflicts at this time and things don't generally come up. Therefore, it is a whole lot easier for me to make sure I get my workout in. I also have the living room to myself (aside from the dogs) so I can spread out and make as much noise as I want.
3. Workout at Home - Going to the gym is nice, but it requires a lot of effort and planning. You need someone to watch the kids, you have to pay a membership whether you get to the gym or not, you actually have to take the time to go there and come back on top of your workout time, and you have to wait for equipment or come early to make sure you get your spot for class. At home, these things are not an issue. A 30 minute workout will actually take 30 minutes. Once you have your equipment, there is no additional cost. And, no babysitter is required.
4. Have your equipment easily accessible - Set aside a space in your home where you will workout. This might be your living room or your basement or the garage. Have all of your workout out equipment all together, easily accessible in this room. I workout in my living room, so in one corner I have my weights, my stretch band, my ball, my yoga mat and my fold away elliptical. I also have one location for all of my fitness DVDs. When I want to workout, I just grab the equipment I need for that workout and I'm ready to go.
5. Be selective when purchasing DVDs - Have you ever purchased a DVD and then never used it because you didn't have the time or the right equipment? Do your research up front so that when you get a DVD, you are actually able to use it. My first requirement when buying a DVD is length. I want to be able to get my workout done in about 35 minutes, 40 max. That way I have time to get a quick shower in before waking up T. So, if a DVD doesn't meet the time requirement, I don't get it because I know I will rarely, if ever, use it. Next I look at what equipment is required. Generally, I go with DVDs that either come with the equipment required or makes use of equipment I already have. If you get a kettle bell workout and don't have a kettle bell, well you not going to be able to use it until you get one...
6. Get your kids involved - If you have a teeny guy or gal, do baby wearing workouts where you do exercises while wearing your baby in their carrier. The baby is your weight and you move up in weight as your baby gets bigger. This is actually fun for the baby too and some good quality time together. For bigger guys (depending on how big) you can still use them as your weight. Toddler chest presses and over head presses anyone? How about a plank with a toddler on top? Squats while carrying your little guy! Workout with your hubby and get everyone involved. For even bigger kids, get a couple light weights and encourage them to join in. It's never too early to develop a healthy lifestyle.
7. Set a workout goal - When you have a goal to achieve you are much more motivated to do the work it takes to get there. Decide you want to be able to do 60 squats in a minute, or drop a dress size in 4 weeks, or get through the whole workout DVD without having to hit pause. Wherever you are fitness wise, there is always a new goal you can set. Make your goals specific and achievable. Not easy, but achievable. You want to obtain your goal, not be depressed when your deadline comes and you fall short.
In the end, working out is super important to being the best mom you can be. You have energy to chase and play with your kids. You model a healthy lifestyle. And you will definitely feel accomplished when you finish a good workout. Try to add workouts to your routine little by little and you will definitely notice the difference in all aspects of your life. In fact, with that extra boost of energy you may find you actually save time in your day because you are able to accomplish things faster and more efficiently.
Here's to healthy, happy mommies!!